A “listening session” was held and recorded in Cooper Landing this week as part of an organized effort to record community residents’ observations of change on the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge notebook: Voices of the Kenai

By JOHN MORTON I’ve had the privilege recently to hear what other residents think about changes they have witnessed in their lifetimes here on the… Continue reading

A “listening session” was held and recorded in Cooper Landing this week as part of an organized effort to record community residents’ observations of change on the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
The sign announcing the start of the Alaska Highway in Dawson’s Creek, British Columbia. Taken in August of 2018. (Photo by Brian Mazurek)

Out of the Office: What a long, strange trip it’s been

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned this past year, it’s that sometimes you have to change your life, and sometimes your life changes you. Last… Continue reading

The sign announcing the start of the Alaska Highway in Dawson’s Creek, British Columbia. Taken in August of 2018. (Photo by Brian Mazurek)
The view of a Homer sunrise as seen from the cabin where the author spent a recent winter weekend. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Tangled up in Blue: A weekend away

Coming up to an unknown cabin in the woods is an engaging experience. Throughout the windy, snow-covered roads of Ohlson Mountain in Homer, my friends… Continue reading

The view of a Homer sunrise as seen from the cabin where the author spent a recent winter weekend. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Refuge Notebook: To feed or not to feed the birds

By TODD ESKELIN As the snow continues to pile up, I have had some unwanted guests at my bird feeder. A cow moose and her… Continue reading

Laura Bashor and Amber Robbins, two biological interns at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, being filmed this past summer for an Animal Planet series on top of Hideout Trail. (Photo provided by refuge)

Refuge notebook: Reflections on 2018

By ANDY LORANGER Another year in the books on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge – is it me or does every year seem to pass… Continue reading

Laura Bashor and Amber Robbins, two biological interns at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, being filmed this past summer for an Animal Planet series on top of Hideout Trail. (Photo provided by refuge)
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots defensive back Stephon Gilmore, center, celebrates his interception with Dont’a Hightower, left, and Eric Rowe, right, during the first half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Please tear us apart

In contrast to Will Morrow’s spin on being a Patriots fan (see “Don’t Tear Us Apart”, Jan. 27), I offer my own. Being a Chicago… Continue reading

FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots defensive back Stephon Gilmore, center, celebrates his interception with Dont’a Hightower, left, and Eric Rowe, right, during the first half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
Musher Dave Turner celebrates just after winning this year’s Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019 at Freddies Roadhouse finish line near Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Dave Turner claims first T200 win

After chasing other top mushers for three years, Dave Turner has finally proven himself a winner by snagging first place in the Tustumena 200 Sled… Continue reading

Musher Dave Turner celebrates just after winning this year’s Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019 at Freddies Roadhouse finish line near Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Tangled up in Blue: Are you silly?

There’s a whole book of vocabulary in the world of downhill skiing. There are hundreds of ways to describe snow, while I usually just refer… Continue reading

An adult male Calliope Hummingbird captured and banded near Inkom, Idaho. This is the smallest breeding bird in North America. (Photo provided by Todd Eskelin)

Hummingbirds take migration to a new level

By TODD ESKELIN In my career as a bird bander, I have banded over 20,000 birds and probably closer to 30,000 birds. I have banded… Continue reading

An adult male Calliope Hummingbird captured and banded near Inkom, Idaho. This is the smallest breeding bird in North America. (Photo provided by Todd Eskelin)
An aerial photo of the longest of five culverts being installed under the Sterling Highway. (Photo by Shaun Combs, DOT&PF)

Refuge notebook: Why do moose cross the road?

By JOHN MORTON Why do moose cross the road? To get to the other side, of course — as do other wildlife like lynx, caribou,… Continue reading

An aerial photo of the longest of five culverts being installed under the Sterling Highway. (Photo by Shaun Combs, DOT&PF)
Kenai National Wildlife Refuge interns Angel Smith and Laura Bashor help Hilcorp Alaska restore a retired gas pad east of the Swanson River Oil Field. (Photo by Lorene Lynn)

Restoring nature 1 gravel pad at a time

By AMBER ROBBINS What happens to old oil and gas pads when they are no longer useful? This June, I was given the opportunity to… Continue reading

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge interns Angel Smith and Laura Bashor help Hilcorp Alaska restore a retired gas pad east of the Swanson River Oil Field. (Photo by Lorene Lynn)
Bright orange spores are released from rupturing needles of a spruce tip infected with spruce tip rust on the Skyline Trail on July 5, 2018. (Photo provided by Matt Bowser of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

A big year for spruce tip rust

By MATT BOWSER “What is that?” asked my co-worker, pointing down to where it looked like someone had marked the ground beside the Skyline Trail… Continue reading

Bright orange spores are released from rupturing needles of a spruce tip infected with spruce tip rust on the Skyline Trail on July 5, 2018. (Photo provided by Matt Bowser of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Our national bird more than meets the eye

By TODD AND LEAH ESKELIN If you have not checked out the city of Kenai Eagle Cam you are missing out. This is among the… Continue reading

The summit of Vista Trail on Skilak Loop Road, seen Nov. 23, 2018, while waiting for skiing to come to the central Kenai Peninsula. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: Power of the Culture of the North

First, a few confessions. On Nov. 10, 2018, I marked the first snowfall of the season by getting off work and immediately bolting to the… Continue reading

The summit of Vista Trail on Skilak Loop Road, seen Nov. 23, 2018, while waiting for skiing to come to the central Kenai Peninsula. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Tangled up in blue: Squeaky boards

By KAT SORENSEN There are a few squeaky floorboards in Resurrect Art Coffee House. The old church was built in 1916, though, so it’s to… Continue reading

My snowy driveway one winter morning, near Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: Get outside 2019

Last New Year’s Eve I was at the same event I was for the two previous New Year’s. I rang in 2018 in a duplex… Continue reading

My snowy driveway one winter morning, near Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: At the edge of the world

Anniversaries are strange things — in many ways they are arbitrary, days we mark on a calendar to keep us from forgetting that we have… Continue reading

Refuge notebook: Building new trail builds community

By ERIN McKITTRICK From Lunch Mountain, on Kachemak Bay State Park’s Tutka Backdoor Trail, Mount Iliamna appears perfectly framed between the fjord’s forested slopes. We… Continue reading

Catriona Reynolds finishes off a victory in the 10-mile bike at the Mouth to Mouth Wild Run and Ride on Monday, May 28, 2018, at the Kenai beach. On Reynolds’ tail is Sky Carver. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai, Soldotna biking community awarded

Kenai and Soldotna were both recently awarded bronze-level status by the League of American Bicyclists for meeting standards set by its Bicycle Friendly Community Program.… Continue reading

Catriona Reynolds finishes off a victory in the 10-mile bike at the Mouth to Mouth Wild Run and Ride on Monday, May 28, 2018, at the Kenai beach. On Reynolds’ tail is Sky Carver. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Tangled up in Blue: Up in smoke!

My wood stove stole my freedom. The independence I cultivated through years of working late nights in return for long afternoons when I want them… Continue reading